Access and DigestibilityIf the purpose of medicinal history is to transformthe way we see ourselves historically, to change our senseof what is possible, then making history available to thosewho need it most is not a separate process from theresearching and interpreting. The task of the curanderahistorian includes delivery.To do exciting, empowering research and leave it inacademic journals and university libraries is like manu-facturing unaffordable medicines for deadly diseases. Weneed to take responsibility for sharing our work in waysthat people can assimilate, not in the private languagesand forms of scholars. This is the difference betweencuranderas and pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceuti-cals are going into indigenous and other people of colorcommunities worldwide, and stealing and patenting tradi-tional science, technology and even the plants themselvesand producing medicines that are completely out of reachof the people who invented them. We need to be careful,in doing historical research about oppressed communi-ties, to see that the active ingredients get back to the peo-ple whose ancestors generated our work.A good medicine also includes a delivery system,something that transports it to the parts of your body thatneed it. Those who are hungriest for what we dig updon’t read scholarly journals and shouldn’t have to. Ashistorians we need to either be artists and communityeducators, or we need to find people who are and figureout how to collaborate with them. We can work withcommunity groups to create original public history pro-jects that really involve people. We can see to it that ourwork gets into at least the local popular culture throughtheater, music, historical novels, posters, films, children’sbooks, or any of a hundred other accessible art forms. Wecan work with elementary and highschool teachers to cre-ate curricula. Medicinal history is a form of healing andit’s purposes are conscious and overt.Show Yourself in Your WorkOne of the pretenses of history is that being rigorousabout research is the same as being objective. Since his-tory is a collection of stories about people in conflict, andall our families were involved, it seem s a ridiculousclaim. Objectivity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.Being objective is often understood to mean not takingsides; but failing to take sides when someone is beinghurt is immoral. In writing about the past we are choos-ing to bear witness to the impact of that past on the peo-ple around us. We don’t stand apart from history.We arein the midst of it right this minute and stances we takematter.Acommitted moral stance does not mean that wecannot be rigorous. While the agenda of the activist his-torian is to rescue a sense of worth for the oppressed, ourability to see worth in the contradictory and ambiguousmeans we welcome the full picture. We don’t, in the nar-row sense, have an ax to grind.